If a shortcut in recent documents had a reference to some network drive and the network was offline, these pauses occurred. The cure was to clear the recent documents list.
CCLEANER (see download.com) can clear those lists for us if you can't find them.
I have a dell latitude e4300 laptop, windows vista, since I started using WD MyBook 500gb via ESata connection (built in in the laptops connectors) my computer started hanging for brief 1-2 second periods every 1-2 minutes when the esata drive is not connected.
I have tried to trace this problem to a specific application that may be trying to access the drive when its not connected but had no luck so far using the resource monitor, also i have rolled out heating issues that might be laptop fan related, these hangs only occur whenever that ESata drive is disconnected. i am using the drive as backup.
I have also installed avast pro and spy bot search and destroy for threat analysis and have come up with no results.
my best guess is that some application or service maybe indexing is trying to access the external esata drive even when its not connected, oh and shutting down the computer and turning it back on doesn't help.
how do i trace the source of the problem and find find out / fix what's causing it?